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Update: I'm pretty convinced now I just need to return it. If you look at the second picture it looks like the rails are off centre if you compare the distance between the rails and the leather around the front bend.

I bought a new Brooks B-17, however it the Saddle Rails seem too narrow. An online search suggests brute forcing it, however I think mine are too narrow to even do that.

Seatpost is Ritchey Road, 27.2 x 300mm.

In the attached image, my original saddle is on the left and the Brooks in the two right photos.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Should I return the Saddle, or would the local bike store be able to make good of it?

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  • Measure please - the centre to centre separation of the parallel section of the rails on the brooks and the old saddle. This is usually standard but something is off and I wouldn't assume it's the brooks.
    – Chris H
    May 8, 2023 at 9:18
  • ... Although it seems like it's not unknown to have to persuade a brooks saddle to fit the standard 44mm spacing that it is designed for. I don't know why they'd have a bigger tolerance than others.
    – Chris H
    May 8, 2023 at 9:22
  • 1
    Old saddle approximately 44mm, Brooks closer to 41mm to me.
    – mapface
    May 8, 2023 at 9:26
  • Did it get squashed in transit? If its brand-new from a shop, ask them for an opinion. Last resort is to ask Brooks directly at getintouch.brooksengland.com
    – Criggie
    May 8, 2023 at 10:21
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    Side view of saddles might help, showing the rails below the saddle. Especially the Brooks, showing your target fore/aft position. I have a B17 and a Bontrager road saddle. The Bontrager's rails, forward of the parallel portion meant to be used for clamping, turn inward and upward at the same time. The Brooks only turns inward, not up. So it's a longer section of rail on the Brooks where you're not supposed to clamp, but you kinda can if you push it a bit. I'm wondering if you're trying to clamp it quite far back and hitting that portion where the rails are level but narrowing inward.
    – SSilk
    May 8, 2023 at 10:59

1 Answer 1

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Not only are the rails too narrow, they look like they are also not parallel. If you do have a vernier caliper, can you snap two pictures with measurements like so: enter image description here

I don't know which country you are in, but if you purchased the saddle new with a proper receipt, I would strongly recommend you return it as "not fit for purpose". As a customer you should not be dealing with low quality or damaged goods, it is up for vendor/manufacturer to provide a refund or replacement. It may be easier to do so if you bought it online depending on the legislation in your country.

My curiosity still makes me ask the question: was it damaged during handling or was it manufactured so poorly by Brooks? To bend the rails so badly one would need to apply a fair amount of force. And the direction of the bend is not very logical. I can hardly imagine a scenario where the saddle rails would be bent that way during handling without further damage to the rest of the saddle. Can you inspect the saddle and see any signs of impact?

Looks like you are not the only one with that problem... Google search suggestions give it away. enter image description here

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  • Another possibility is that the saddle is counterfeit, especially if OP didn't buy it from LBS or directly from Brooks.
    – shoover
    May 9, 2023 at 1:14
  • It was new from the LBS. It is being sorted now - hopefully having this question up now will save people the headache in the future.
    – mapface
    May 9, 2023 at 1:34

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